Big House Blues is the pilot episode of Nickelodeon's series, The Ren & Stimpy Show. The theatrical uncut version was shown on August 10, 1990 at several film festivals as a way to promote the show. It was then aired as the second segment of the second episode in the second season of The Ren & Stimpy Show.
It is also the very first episode in the entire Ren & Stimpy franchise overall.
Ren and Stimpy try to survive the horrors of the Dog Pound.
Why It Rocks
- It is the very first episode of The Ren & Stimpy Show, a show that revolutionized animation in the 90s and also being one of Nickelodeon's first three Nicktoons.
- The animation is very smooth and expressive, for being animated at Carbunkle Cartoons and Bardel Entertainment (in their only contribution to the show's animation).
- The paintings of this pilot are nice too, like the close-up on Stimpy's sleeping eyes, with lashes and encrusted.
- Great voice acting, like John Kricfalusi as Ren and Billy West as Stimpy in the first time (although Stimpy has a four lines in the pilot). Special mention goes to Lynne Naylor and Jim Smith as Little Girl's Mom and the Dogcatcher and as the narrator.
- Funny lines such as when Ren in a yelling tone says: THE BIG SLEEP! and DEAD! DEAD, YOU EEDIOT! YOU KNOW WHAT DEAD IS?! JUST LIKE WE'LL BE IF WE DON'T GET OUT OF HERE!
- Ren and Stimpy get a happy ending: they are adopted by Little Girl at the end of the pilot and are well received by her mother, giving Ren a cute blue sweater and Stimpy his first material possession, a litterbox.
The Only Bad Quality
- As the pilot is the first episode of the cartoon, the pilot suffered censorship from Nickelodeon, such as the scene where the Dogcatcher shakes his hips in the front of Ren and Stimpy, was cut, due of the Nickelodeon executives deemed the scene "too gay". The worst censorship that the pilot suffered, is the scene when Ren was dreaming that he was kissing a woman, when in reality he was kissing Stimpy on his lips and ends up disgusting in the Dog Pound's toilet. Fortunately these two scenes were brought back when the pilot was released on the DVD of the first two seasons of the show in 2004.
- The show's intro is made by clips of this pilot. It was later reused as the intro of "%22 Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon" in 2003.
- The mention of Vanessa Coffey in the end credits was removed when the pilot was released in the home video.
- In the final minutes of the pilot, when Ren tells the girl stop, dog versions of George Jetson, Fred Flintstone, and Huckleberry Hound appears as a cameo.
- Originally at the end of the episode, Phil was going to return and say: "Hi kids, remember me? I'm not dead! After all, this is a cartoon, isn't it?". For unknown reasons, it was cut. The storyboards can be seen here in this link. Fortunately, Phil reappeared in the show itself alive in the Season 2 episode, Dog Show.
- In a November 1992 lecture at Nassau College, Bob Camp told the people about the original plot for the pilot, where Stimpy is pregnant with Ren's love child. And he said: "That one was rejected REAL fast!" It was later turned into the Adult Party Cartoon episode, Stimpy's Pregnant.